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Celebrating Child and Youth Worker Week

Children are the future, and the future is in good hands when our children can count on the nurturing support and encouragement of professional caring front-line Child and Youth Care Practitioners. 
 
In partnership with the OACYC (Ontario Association of Child and Youth Care) we would like to recognize the unique contributions and dedication of our team during this year's International Child and Youth Worker Week, celebrated from May 4 – 10. This year's theme focuses on self-care and mindfulness. 
 
From schools and child care centres to hospitals and mental health clinics, our CYWs strive to make our community the best it can be by providing children with the tools to succeed. 
 
During this week we invite you to get to know one of our very own Child and Youth Workers! We did a quick Q&A with Roxanne, Child and Youth Support Worker at Peel CAS:
 
How long have you been in this field?
I’ve been working within the field for 20 years now. For 16 years I worked with youth with complex mental health needs that were involved with criminal activity and another 4 years with Peel CAS. In my current role I support foster families and children in care.
 
What inspires you within your role?
My story begins when I was a teenager. I came from a home where I was fortunate to have good parents who provided me with a nurturing environment. I became friends with a group of teenagers who were struggling to survive. Sleeping on the streets and struggling to find their next meal seemed to be their everyday life. My parents took the teenagers into our home and helped them find community resources. Throughout this experience I met several youth workers who worked hand-in-hand with these youth to help them feel safe, supported and most of all give them hope for a better future. I was so moved from this experience I decided to become a child and youth worker.
 
How do you provide support to children and families?
In my current role I’m able to work alongside foster parents, children’s workers and other community partners to be able to ensure our foster children have an opportunity to be successful. Part of my role is to support foster parents to understand the impacts of trauma, to look past the child’s behaviour and to understand how the child is feeling.
 
What does success look like in your field?
Seeing foster children gain self-confidence, learning new skills and celebrating their academic achievements is very rewarding. When a foster parent is able to build new skills and feels confident to support a foster child to achieve their goals is also a testament to a job well done.
 
Thank you to all of our CYW's for continuing to tackle the tough challenges and for being pillars of strength for children and youth in our community.